Support Cancer research

At ACRF we believe that together we can outsmart cancer.

This year more than 145,000 Australians, young and old, men and women, are likely to be diagnosed with cancer and close to 50,000 will die as a result.

While there have been major advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in recent years, more funds are needed to ensure researchers have the latest technology and equipment.

ACRF was founded in 1984 by the late Sir Peter Abeles and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. Their vision was to fill the gap in Australian scientific funding by providing large grants, of $1 million or more, for cancer research technology and equipment.

Honouring their legacy, we focus on providing researchers with the tools they need to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer.

Our focus attracts the best and brightest scientific minds and inspires them to take on innovative cancer research.

Together we can outsmart cancer.


Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters – individuals, families, organisations and community groups from around Australia – each year we are able to award high-impact grants, allowing Australia’s best scientists to embark on ground-breaking research projects. These projects cover prevention, diagnosis and treatment for all types of cancer.

The support we have received has funded many projects that
continue to have a long lasting worldwide impact.

    For example, your donations contributed to the initial seed funding to Professor Ian Frazer’s research into the cervical cancer (HPV) vaccine. Over 150 million doses of vaccine have been delivered worldwide to date. Thanks to an universal immunisation program, Australia is set to be the first country to effectively eliminate the disease.


    Together we have supported cancer research at WEHI, which has led to a treatment that melts away certain advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The treatment has been approved for clinical use in the US, European Union and Australia and is now being trialled for other types of cancer.


    In 2015, your donations enabled ACRF to grant $10 million seed funding to an ambitious cancer proteome project that aims to provide each cancer patient a personalised treatment plan within 36 hours. This will dramatically improve treatment outcomes and help avoid unnecessary treatments.


    With your contributions, ACRF became one of the founding partners of an initiative that will tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer in Australia. It is a key step towards the program's vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer.


There are many not-for-profit cancer foundations in the charitable giving sector, all doing fantastic work. To help you distinguish ACRF from other cancer charities:

  • We fund research into ALL types of cancer, in research institutes, universities and hospitals ALL across Australia.

  • ACRF funds are directed to purchase state of the art equipment and technologies that speed up the scientific discovery process – ultimately working to save lives by saving time.

  • The cancer research we fund is assessed according to the world-class standards of an esteemed scientific committee of Australian and international cancer researchers.


The donations we receive go to research with the potential to outsmart cancer – research that is vital to the development of effective treatments and diagnostic measures for all types of cancer.

Thanks to our esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee, we are able to ensure that the most promising cancer research initiatives receive funding. The Committee is comprised of some of Australia’s most respected cancer scientists. Each application is assessed on its potential to make ground-breaking progress in cancer treatment, diagnosis and prevention.

thank you

On behalf of Australia’s leading cancer researchers, we thank our donors, partners and supporters. It is your generosity that makes it possible to provide these major grants – we receive no funding from any other source.